This manicure was days in the making. It all started one night when I was supposed to be working but instead succumbed to the siren song of the 'create and contain" circles on my relatively new Bliss Kiss Simply Neat Miracle Mat and made some adorable little water marbles.
I didn't have time to actually do anything with these, but I did learn that the L'Oreal Chateau Royale Fall 2015 collection water marbles really well.
So I got this idea to create (and contain) some little water marbles and then cut them into decals to create a Valentine's themed negative space water marble manicure. Like so.
I prepped my nails using the Zoya Naked Manicure system to make them look as natural as possible and got to work on my water marbles, which as you can see above came out fine. Manipulating the decals, on the other hand, was a whole other terrible clusterfuck of a story that I was too stressed to take any pictures of. Basically I couldn't get a clean edge using scissors or an exacto knife or acetone and a brush and then I got tired and gave up.
So I decided to try my hand (lol) at a French manicure. I never bothered to buy the Tip Perfector as part of the Naked Manicure system because until about three months ago, I never had nails long enough to gave a significant free edge. For this manicure, I used Loaded Lacquer Coconut for the tips. It's not bad for my first French mani, and freehanded no less. But my layers of polish were too thick so this got all jammed up when I put my socks on.
Undaunted, I carried on.
Okay so my next brilliant idea was to use Simply Peel to create the heart shapes from my sketch up there. Rather than go through the Naked Manicure steps again, I used two coats of OPI Bubble Bath over Unt Ready for Takeoff for easy removal when I inevitably fucked this up, which happened more or less immediately. I quickly abandoned the "painting with Simply Peel" idea and decided to try using the Simply Peel to mask off all but a scalloped/heart-shaped edge of my nails. The shape is wonky for sure, but the actual water marble went so smoothly I did my pinky and index finger, too. As you can see, they turned out fabulously. The middle two nails... eh.
I spent the day with that weird water marble on my hand and then I jumped right back into the pool, this time using stickers to try to achieve a neater version of the same look. This mess is a good representation of all the tools used to create this manicure and so, clockwise from left we have:
- Polishes: L'Oreal Wine Spritzer, OPI Bubble Bath, Simply Peel (not a polish obviously), Unt Ready for Take Off, KBShimmer Clearly on Top, and L'Oreal Wicked Wine
- Souvenir beer festival glass for water marbling.
- Baby medicine syringe from Walgreens for refilling the Simply Peel. If wealth were measured by baby medicine syringes, I would be Bill goddamn Gates.
- Beadalon tweezers. These things are cheap and great and I highly recommend them.
- Bliss Kiss Simply Pure cuticle oil. I use this every time I finish a manicure for a little cuticle TLC.
- Rhinestone wheel from a random Amazon seller. I definitely picked this up without closing the little window and got rhinestone hearts all over the floor. Sigh.
- Uberchic Beauty Oval Gel Clean Up Brush. This brush is so fantastic. It is the perfect stiffness and it's very thin at the tip. I love it.
- Pure Color No. 9 liner brush to touch up the water marble a little and the Pure Color water marble tool to draw the design.
I used some tip guides to create what I hoped would be a heart shape at the bottom of my nails, and covered the top of my nail and most of my fingers with Simply Peel.
I learned something important on this most recent foray into water marbling: "room temperature" is a subjective concept and if it's in the single digits outside, your room might be too cold for optimum water marbling water. I tried to account for that by using a little bit of the hot water leftover in the tea kettle and filling the rest of the glass with room temperature (aka cold as hell) water. The first time around, when I dipped my pinky and index finger, that worked really well. For this go 'round time, I has having some problems. Still, I was only dipping half of two fingers so I knew I wouldn't need much area and I soldiered on.
This looks like a rejected prop from a Herschel Gordon Lewis movie.
Then peel of Simply Peel (like no big deal...) et voila.
This is the vessel I use for water marbling because it's a pretty good size and also it amuses me to ruin a souvenir beer festival glass with nail polish and imagine blowhard beer nerd dudes having a hissy about it.
Then, some cleanup, some topcoat, and some little heart rhinestones to finish the look. My only Valentine's day plans are to go out and get donuts for breakfast (weather permitting) so I didn't feel compelled to create a full manicure or this, or to wear it for longer than a couple of hours, but I'm glad I managed to achieve my goal. Go me.
Happy Valentine's Day!